Some industries are slow to adapt their products to meet the changing demands of today’s consumers. Home security is one of those industries. Once the first models were built, they remained virtually unchanged long enough to become ineffective.The way people live today is not the same as it was fifty years ago. Today, people frequently travel outside their homes for extended periods of time and want to know that their property is safe. They’re used to having immediate contact with friends and family through smartphone apps, and expect the same from their home security system.Home security started out as a brilliant inventionIn the 1800s, the invention of the telegraph and battery inspired hobbyists and electrical engineers to pursue ways of improving telecommunication. Around this time, a Unitarian minister from Boston named Agustus Pope began inventing the first burglar alarm. Contemplating the dilemma of how to get his electronic invention to ring a bell, he found the … [Read more...] about Is AI going to save the home security industry?
Pokemon Go has been a phenomenon since its launch earlier this month. Its popularity caused Nintendo's market cap to nearly double and the game seems could send as much as $3 billion into Apple's coffers. Pokemon Go requires players to get out into the real world; that's the only way to catch Pokemon, get needed supplies at designated PokeSpots and train or battle in places known as Gyms.The location-based, augmented reality nature of the game is having a significant impact on its players, real world communities, and a range of venues. The game has already been credited with helping kids (and adults) be more active. Some people suffering from depression or anxiety have praised the game for helping to alleviate their symptoms. Others are discovering new parts of their cities or towns. And that raises an important question: can businesses, particularly small businesses, leverage Pokemon Go to attract, engage and retain new customers?[ Digital Spotlight: Enterprise mobile app strategies … [Read more...] about How businesses can use Pokemon Go to succeed
Mobile CRM: Cost Center or Profit Maker? Part 1 Buried in a recent J.D. Power and Associates 2012 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction study -- which showed consumers' satisfaction with credit cards was at a six-year high -- was this very telling factoid: Only 7 percent of credit card customers use their mobile phones to complete transactions, up from 4 percent in 2011. However, satisfaction is highest among customers who use mobile to interact with their issuer, compared with customers who use any of the other interaction channels, including the Internet. Mobile phone options, such as downloadable apps and text alerts, are important as customers who use their mobile phone for credit card activities are more satisfied and are more likely to understand their credit card terms, the report concluded. These stats fly in the face of the reality of countless mobile CRM projects -- that is, those projects implemented out of a sense of duty because customers expect to be able to reach out to a firm … [Read more...] about Mobile CRM: Cost Center or Profit Maker? Part 2
[email protected] (Nasdaq: ATHM) was up 1/4 at 6 1/8 early Tuesday after the provider of high-speed Internet access called off plans for a joint venture with the Chello Broadband unit of Dutch broadband provider United Group. [email protected] said United Group wanted to change terms of the venture because of market conditions, but the companies could not come to an alternative agreement. [email protected] also said that the complexity of the proposed deal, which involved "multiple shareholders with differing opinions and interests," would have posed a risk to its international expansion plans. The company said it has no obligation to United Group as a result of its decision to walk away from the talks, and is free to pursue other partnerships. "We continue to regard international as a key element of [email protected]'s business," said George Bell, chairman of the Redwood City, California-based company. "We remain confident in the overseas opportunity and will continue to grow our position." Bell also said … [Read more...] about [email protected] Advances as Chello Venture Scrapped
By Andrew K. Burger Dec 23, 2006 1:30 AM PT Across the U.S., both consumers and industry have called on the government to build out an infrastructure for renewable energy sources following the latest run-up in gas prices. Part 1 of this two-part series on renewable energy reviews some of the plans industry participants have outlined to support various "green" power initiatives, along with some approaches to achieve success. With the introduction of the California Solar Initiative -- due to go into effect January 1 -- solar photovoltaic (PV) industry firms are scrambling to adjust to changes in application processes, rebate pricing, and energy efficiency and metering requirements. Some are using California as a test bed for new renewable energy projects, including solar-powered suburban communities and a large job involving California public schools. California's commercial and residential housing developers form one of the industry's long-term linchpins. They can consistently … [Read more...] about Renewable Energy in America, Part 2: Solar Powered Homes
This week's Google I/O conference ushered in an array of new and future developments from the Web search leader, touching on everything from new ideas for laptop computers to Google's own online music storage system. Google's Android mobile OS received several moments in the spotlight as well. One new Android development to make its debut was [email protected], which will let Android device users connect with, communicate with and control their home appliances. A related technology is Project Tungsten, an Android device for Google's fledgling streaming music service that will give consumers more control over music playback within their [email protected] networks. The idea of linking up home appliances to the Internet was one of the capabilities the IEEE harped on when it first announced IPv6, the next generation of Internet Protocol technology back in the 1990s. Hooking up appliances to the Internet will require some sort of radio network and sensors, making up what's called a "wireless mesh." … [Read more...] about Android’s Next Step May Hit Too Close to Home
Smartphone customers in the U.S. want bigger screens on their devices, according to a study from T-Mobile. The phone provider, along with Kelton, polled more than 1,000 U.S. consumers starting last May and found that 77 percent of smartphone users prefer a device that has a 4.5-inch or larger screen over a smaller display. T-Mobile highlighted the results of the study in a blog post announcing the availability of the Samsung Galaxy Note, a phone with a particularly large screen. Samsung's 5.3-inch device is meant to be a smartphone-tablet hybrid, with some tablet-like capabilities such notepad functionality. The product is sometimes referred to as a "phablet." T-Mobile relies heavily on sales of smartphones from manufacturers such as Samsung and HTC, since it is the only major U.S. provider not to offer Apple's iPhone. "T-Mobile's lack of an iPhone was probably a motivating factor for this study," Colin Gibbs, analyst at GigaOM Pro, told TechNewsWorld. "The carrier continues to … [Read more...] about Consumers on Smartphone Screens: Go Big or Go Home
By Jack M. Germain Dec 4, 2012 5:00 AM PT This is the first in an ongoing series featuring interviews with leaders in the open source community. Last month, Jos Poortvliet's job as openSUSE community manager brought his career full-circle. Jos Poortvliet, OpenSUSE Community Manager He was chosen to lead a discussion on open governance at the Summit of New Thinking in Berlin. The open innovation concept is what got him interested in free software communities while studying organizational psychology, and it's an idea he tries to merge into growing the openSUSE community. Poortvliet now has a decade of evangelism for the free software movement as well as a unique perspective on the open source community. Poortvliet holds a degree in organizational psychology from the University of Utrecht. The OpenSUSE project, formerly SUSE Linux, is a community program sponsored mainly by SUSE. Noble Goals SUSE was established in 1992 when it introduced a distro now known as SUSE Enterprise … [Read more...] about OpenSUSE’s Jos Poortvliet: Collaborate or Become Obsolete
It is hard to get around the fact that smartphones are incredibly hot right now, and while the iPhone appears to be suffering from vendor-induced trauma, Research In Motion's financials were impressively good. However, the whole enterprise phone market is about to go through the most massive change since the introduction of the private branch exchange (PBX), and few are positioned as well as HP is to benefit from it. Meanwhile, RIM may be on a road reminiscent of Palm's PDA path of the last decade. I spent a good deal of time with the new Microsoft Home Server and had to send my test unit back in preparation for the product's ship date. Also, I got to judge an event covering software for the platform. I'm now in deep home server withdrawal, but still I wonder how many know what one of these things is, let alone are ready to buy one in a few weeks. Finally, we'll chat about this week's product of the week -- a whopping 30-inch monitor that makes the 27-inch model I'm currently using … [Read more...] about RIM/HP/Microsoft Battle Coming, Are You Ready for a Home Server?, Product of the Week
Microsoft and HP announced the availability of the HP MediaSmart Server running Windows Home Server. The new class of server enables consumers to protect, connect and share digital media and documents. "Digital devices and content are everywhere in our day-to-day lives, and they are important all the time," said Bill Gates, chairman of Microsoft. "With the launch of Windows Home Server, Microsoft and its partners are creating a new consumer product category that will help people keep their digital media safe and make it easier for them to enjoy it with friends and family." The HP MediaSmart Server will begin shipping later this month. The 500 GB version is priced at US$599. For consumers with greater storage needs, there is also a 1 TB model for $749. Are You Being Served? Designed principally for homes with several personal computers, the MediaSmart Server provides consumers with powerful sever technology similar to that found in the workplace. It will automatically back up … [Read more...] about HP, MS Aim to Tidy Up Digital Clutter With New Home Server
Steven Cherry: Hi, this is Steven Cherry for IEEE Spectrum's "Techwise Conversations." Have you heard of Reddit? It describes itself as "a source for what's new and popular on the Web [online]." Like earlier sites like Slashdot and Digg, it's a way to share the best or most important or just plain interesting ideas of the day. Wikipedia describes Reddit as "a social news website where the registered users submit content…. Other users then vote the submission up or down, which is used to rank the post and determine its position on the site's pages." The site has some main pages and then many other pages, sometimes called "subreddits" or just "reddits," devoted to specific topics. There are a bunch of little features intended to help raise the profile of the best stories. For example, regular users build karma points if voting shows that the stories they link to are worthy. And there are some other nice touches. For example, you can't upvote a story if you haven't clicked on … [Read more...] about Does Reddits Self-Policing Go Too Far?
After exiting the air lock, an astronaut uses the thrusters on her space suit to propel herself toward a nearby asteroid. With great care, she gets as close and as steady as she can in preparation for knocking a few samples off the surface. But with very little gravity to anchor her, the strike of her hammer throws her backward in an uncontrolled tumble. This scenario may sound a bit comic, but it's one that engineers will have to keep in mind as they design ways to once again send astronauts out beyond low earth orbit-to a piece of an asteroid brought close to the moon by a robotic spacecraft, according to NASA's current plans; to other small bodies in deep space; and on long missions to what could be our generation's ultimate destination-Mars. Of the myriad dangers and difficulties associated with space travel, weightlessness places some of the biggest demands on an astronaut's body. The absence of gravity can wreak havoc on an astronaut's physiology, causing muscles to atrophy, … [Read more...] about Tomorrows Space Suit: Personal
Image Source | Youtube.com Are you tired of useless human helpers who are better off being placed in concentration camps? Would you rather go buy a more trustworthy robot helper? Niryo One is now a Kickstarter project as an open-source, six-axis robotic arm that can meet a variety of needs. Industrial robot arms have been around since the 1980's when they started to be used in the auto manufacturing industry. However, similar technology that can be used on a smaller scale such as in your own home is only just now starting to exert itself in the mass consumer market. Image Source | Youtube.comAnd so, this is where Niryo One comes in as a Kickstarter project. It's an open-source, six-axis robotic arm that targets the market for makers, developers, and even students. Using today's technologies such as 3D printing, Arduino, Raspberry Pi, and a Robot Operating System, the robot arm is intended to be both easy to use and easy on the wallet, and it will still give you a powerful, … [Read more...] about Niryo One: Open Source 6-Axis Arm Robot for Business, School, or at Home
I'm not sure how I missed out on National Cyber Security Awareness Month -- I know I have the press release around here somewhere. Then again, when I see the word "cyber," I usually set my brain to "ignore" -- it must be linguistic principles that cause me to react as I do to the never-ending misuse of perfectly good Greek. On top of that, I'm so over National This-or-That Month. I've always believed that designating a month for promoting a particular cause was a nice way to focus the staff of industry associations and other interest groups, while to the rest of the world it seems to trivialize a real problem. But I digress. The most meaningful thing to come out of National Cyber Security Awareness Month, which was brought to us by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA), was a study of 329 home computer users that the alliance conducted with America Online. (I have to stop watching cable TV -- the small-business and home-user makeovers suddenly sound really appealing.) [ Give … [Read more...] about Home users still the weakest link
Netbooks are starting to look like ultraportable laptops, while some ultraportables are beginning to resemble netbooks. In a tight economy, the question arises: Should you keep costs low by buying an inexpensive netbook, or spend a few hundred dollars more to get a full-featured lightweight laptop? Here's a quick rundown of three recent product introductions, along with some guidance on which direction to take--laptop or netbook? [ Stay ahead of advances in mobile technology with InfoWorld's Mobile Report blog and Mobilize newsletter. ] [ iPad Pro vs. Surface Pro vs. Pixel C vs. Galaxy TabPro S: The "tabtop" tablet/laptop hybrids compared. | Get deep into Windows: Subscribe to the InfoWorld Windows Report newsletter. ]But First, the Back Story A netbook is a small portable computer, usually with a screen between 7 and 10 inches in size, compared to the 12-inch to 17-inch screens on most laptops. Netbooks are often just a bit bigger than a standard hardcover books, but noticeably … [Read more...] about Netbook or Ultraportable for the Job?
As soon as September, we may see the first smartphones based on Microsoft's Windows Phone 7.5 "Mango" release, the OS update with what CEO Steve Ballmer says has more than 500 new features. The first version of Windows Phone 7 had a compelling UI but fell far short of the iPhone and even Android devices in many areas critical to business users. It was a flop in the market, but Microsoft asked everyone to give it a second chance. "Mango" is that second chance, and Microsoft sent the final "reboot" OS to smartphone makers a month ago. Does "Mango" address the many gaps in the first version of Windows Phone 7? It's hard to say, as working versions of the OS are not yet available for people like me to test. And although Microsoft has been dribbling out information for months on "Mango," there's little meaningful detail yet -- especially on the core business capabilities that the first version lacked. When I asked Microsoft for what "Mango" added for business users, it was unable to tell … [Read more...] about Windows Phone ‘Mango’: Ripe or rotten?
Building and maintaining a wireless network at home is no easy task, especially if you're not tech-savvy or otherwise inclined. This presents a problem, since many people rely on Wi-Fi in their homes in order to get the most out of smartphones, tablets, laptops and a quickly increasing number of other products. Then you get into the issue of internet dead zones in your home and adding Wi-Fi boosters, or using other means to get a better signal. It's all pretty confusing. So, let's take a look at what you need to know about a home wireless setup. Wireless Networking StandardsThe first thing that you'll often run across when looking at wireless routers is how quickly they can transfer data between your device and the internet. This is known as the theoretical data rate and is often measured in megabits per second (Mbps) or gigabits per second (Gbps). How much a router can handle is largely dependent on the wireless standard that it's using. As wireless technology progresses, new … [Read more...] about What Makes a Home Network?
At this writing, it’s Wednesday morning after the U.S. election. None of my friends is sober, probably including my editor.I had a different article scheduled originally, which made the assumption that I’d been wrong all along, because that’s what everyone said. The first article in which I mentioned President Trump posted on Sept. 10, 2015, and covered data analytics in the marijuana industry. Shockingly, both Trump and marijuana won big.[ Download the InfoWorld quick guide: Learn to crunch big data with R. | Cut to the key news in technology trends and IT breakthroughs with the InfoWorld Daily newsletter, our summary of the top tech happenings. ]I thought I was being funny. Part of the reason I was sure “President Trump” was a joke was that Facebook kept nagging me to go vote. First, it wanted me to vote early; eventually it wanted me to vote on Election Day. It wasn’t only Facebook—my Android phone kept nagging me to vote. … [Read more...] about Could Google or Facebook decide an election?
The following article appears in the March/April 2007 issue of Technology Review. We arrived by rental car and parked next to a delivery van in the lot closest to the freeway on-ramp. The van hid us from the security cam atop a nearby light pole. We were early, traffic being lighter than expected. As we waited, we touched up our disguises. At 09:55, we left the car singly and proceeded to our target site by separate mall entrances. I rode the escalators to the food court on the third level, while G, C, and B quickly reconned the lower floors, where shops were just opening their grates. I started at the burger stand and ordered a breakfast sandwich. The girl behind the counter was pretty, mid-20s, talking on her cell. She snapped it shut and asked, without making eye contact, if I wanted something to drink with that. She looked as if she'd been crying. I said no thanks, and she rang up and assembled my order. As she did so, I ticked off the mental checklist we had memorized: slurring … [Read more...] about Science Fiction: Osama Phone Home
If you are a newcomer to the Internet, one of your first proud pleasures is the exchange of e-mail. If you are an old hand, you are probably lamenting the daily assault on your time, and are scrambling to reduce it. New or old, you are headed for a tenfold increase in received messages during the coming decade, as the number of interconnected people grows and as each person and organization increases their use of e-mail. You are also headed toward new capabilities-maybe at the extreme, skydiving in your goggles and body suit and e-mailing the experience to your friend, who will play it back through her e-mail apparel! But exciting as future improvements may be, they will be dwarfed by a present, real and growing overload. Every piece of e-mail you get demands attention, be it a second to trash it, or 15 minutes to compose a reply. A normal person needs an average of two to three minutes to process a message. If you only get one or two messages a day, you have no reason to worry, even … [Read more...] about E-mail: Freedom or Jail? – MIT Technology Review